I took my Fourth of July vacation in Ithaca, NY, which is one of my most favorite places on the planet. I go to Ithaca a couple of times a summer to hike in the gorges and visit my friend Apollo, who is the charge scenic artist for the Hangar Theatre. I find it impressively convenient that I can hike, see him, and take in fantastic regional theatre all in the same location, so I keep going back and it keeps being wonderful.
The Hangar folks are on their second show of the summer, and it’s Ragtime. It’s a really, really good Ragtime. Apollo and I are kind of theatre nerds and even so, we think this production is amazing. I had to pay a lot of attention to the floor (because Apollo painted it) and it had that quality of being painted certain colors, but appearing to be certain other colors depending on the light (from a dark, shiny wood in yellow light, to a light blue in blue light). I love that in a floor, but I also have to give kudos to the lights that lit it so well (we met the LD taking his son for a walk around Buttermilk Falls that day, too!)
I also have to give a big round of kudos to the sound folks (musicians, musical director, and mixing engineer) because I could hear every single word. The balance of piano to vocals was perfect.
Seeing shows like this makes me want more theatre in my life. Ahem, makes me want more GOOD theatre in my life. And by good I don’t mean spotless and without disagreement from beginning to end (because Apollo told me some stories from tech…). I mean good as in “something we’re proud of” and “something we speak well of in conversation” and “something we invite people to happily” and “something that we struggled for and triumphed with.” And most of all, tag the word “together” on to each of those comments. This is the kind of thing I have not yet found in Boston. I’ve seen plenty of really good shows, but not worked on any that felt GOOD the same way. This I what I’m looking for if I’m going to stay here.